University to debut newly redesigned website
Nationally recognized as a leader in computer engineering, computer science, and all things technology, Carnegie Mellon has left its own website unchanged for years. Now, www.cmu.edu is getting a facelift.
Designed with feedback from the campus community and other visitors, the new site is hoped to improve the Carnegie Mellon web experience, especially as students have long complained about the current website.
“The website is not very intuitive, and the design is not attractive,” said Robin Chen, a first-year in H&SS.
The new website features “improved navigation and design, [and] more accessibility for a range of users,” according to Marilyn Kail, assistant vice-president of marketing communications. The site is expected to “bring the Carnegie Mellon community together.”
The features of the new website attempt to address the flaws of the current website.
“More than a year ago, University Advancement and Computing Services recognized that we needed to use the Carnegie Mellon website as an opportunity to reflect the innovative and distinctive personality of the university,” Kail said.
According to Kail, Dan Boyarski, head of the School of Design, and webmasters across the university contributed expert advice to creating the new site.
The website's development involved feedback from 16 groups of university stakeholders. Undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and prospective students and their parents tested the site.
“The new website is a definite improvement on the old, particularly in the visual aesthetic of the webpage,” said Joannie Wu, a junior design major who tested the site.
The homepage, the entry page of the website, is designed to provide quick access to current and up-to-date information.
A section of the homepage called “What’s Happening” provides a quick summary of campus events. Visitors will also be able to subscribe to a blog-style news feed to receive information as the site is updated.
A visually strong graphical element on the homepage will focus on a feature story that will change frequently to keep visitors informed of Carnegie Mellon initiatives and campus happenings.
Feature stories will be categorized into themes, including practical problem solving, interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation and creativity, the global university, and beyond the classroom.
A “Submit Story/Photo” link under the feature story invites the campus community to submit story ideas and photographs
to be considered for the homepage. This feature allows the campus community to be more involved in the content shown on the site.
The site’s navigation structure is designed to improve the current site. According to Kail, the site has been designed to be functional for both casual visitors, who look through various pages on the site, and visitors who are seeking specific information through the search feature.
In addition, a new feature called “QuickLinks” helps visitors to the site find frequently accessed pages.
The new website is a collaborative effort of University Advancement, Computing Services and Enrollment Services. Ripple Effects Interactive, a full-service interactive marketing agency based in Pittsburgh, was selected to create the new design.
The website will be managed by Marketing Communications, a department within University Advancement, and Computing Services. Updates are expected to be made to the website regularly. Future improvements, including better search capabilities and multimedia content, are planned.
The new website will be launched the week of October 30 and will replace the current website at www.cmu.edu.